Dear Alumni/ae,

During the last weekend of September, amid gorgeous New Hampshire fall weather, 95 alumni returned to Millville for SPS in Action. They attended classes, received updates about the school, renewed old acquaintances, and made new ones from among fellow alumni, trustees and students. Interim Rector Amy Richards delivered her signature warm welcome in Saturday chapel. To see Amy in action, check out her opening chapel address to the students here:  https://www.sps.edu/page/News-Detail?pk=1027883. Watch the video if you can, and please share it with your friends and formmates.

I promised to keep you apprised of School and alumni matters so here is a selective update and what to watch for in the months ahead:

Alumnifire, our new networking and mentoring platform, is live. https://sps.alumnifire.com/. This is a great tool for alumni of all ages. Please join if you haven’t already, and encourage your formmates to do the same.  The more alumni on the platform, the more robust the network. You can sign up using LinkedIn, Facebook, or email. Note:  be sure to enter as many keywords as possible for your skills, interests, experiences and activities, not just your job title.

NEASC accreditation report: 
The School has been reaccredited for another ten years by NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). Of 13 categories evaluated, the School received the highest rating of SM1 in seven (including Experience of the Students, Residential Program and Health and Safety) and the second highest rating of SM2 in six categories. A birds-eye view summary: the mission statement and integrated curriculum need to be better defined; admissions is holding strong despite negative press, but the financial aid pool needs to be increased; the faculty need more growth opportunities, and diversity should better reflect that of the student population; and better quantifiable data is needed to evaluate key programs. The School is already working on all of these areas.  You can find the full report here:  https://sps.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/36/download/download_group3969_id265965.pdf
 
New Director of Institutional Research Libby Barlow is helping the School evaluate its programs and make "data-informed decisions" about cultural climate, admissions, college placement and more. During SPS in Action weekend she presented some interesting results comparing SPS to a cohort of similar schools that showed us trending below others in areas like sexual activity and drug and alcohol use (positive news, but as one Dean commented, "even one student is still one too many.") 
 
The XIX Society, our affinity group for female alumnae (named for the first 19 women to attend SPS), sponsored a very well-attended private event for alumni/ae and parents at the Met in New York a few weeks ago, as well as career panels in New York and Boston and global seated meals earlier this year. Check https://www.sps.edu/page/alumni/alumni-events for more events, including the third annual XIX Society global seated meal in February.
 
Pelican Launch is a new program to connect alumni through mentoring, grants and investments, designed by Marcy Chong, Tamsen Williams and Jose Leos of the form of 1991. The proposed program has three components: 1) the launch of a dedicated networking and mentoring platform through Alumnifire (see above) to facilitate proactive alumni support; 2) grants awarded to alumni taking a risk to enter creative, mission-driven, or alternative career paths that they might otherwise not pursue; and 3) a fund of pooled alumni dollars to invest in innovative, SPS alumni-launched ventures that might have trouble accessing traditional capital. Pelican Launch seeks to benefit and re-engage alumni who may feel disenfranchised from the SPS community. Pelican Launch will raise funds from alumni who have not been motivated to participate in typical annual fund giving by creating alternate channels to directly support other alumni. Please contact Marcy Chong chonghall@gmail.com, Tamsen Williams  tamsenheath@hotmail.com or Jose Leos joseleos@gmail.com directly to learn more.
 
SPS Sparks is the community service arm of the Alumni Association. Please consider coordinating a project in your area: find a project that interests you; provide SPS with the details; and be the on-site coordinator the day of the project.  For help organizing a Sparks event, contact Rachel Benoit rbenoit@sps.edu.

Alumni Doorways Service of Repentance on May 4, 2019. Alumni Doorways is a group working on truth, reconciliation and advocacy for the alumni body. During the weekend I delivered some remarks about Doorways to the board and shared them with visiting alumni. We hope many alumni, including those not directly impacted by sexual abuse at the School, will return to SPS for the service and related programming as we collectively seek repentance, reconciliation and healing.

Alumni/Student Career Panels. I still need names of alumni who could return to campus to talk with students about their career paths after SPS. Please be in touch if you have ideas.

Warm Regards, 
 
Liz Robbins ’79, P’17
President, SPS Alumni Association
LizRobbins325@gmail.com